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“One minute. Just one minute, and then we can run.” She was being ridiculous, and she knew it. No, she was being suicidal. But she had to know.
She pulled the bag from the skeletal hand and passed it to her Liv, who took it as it it was on fire, holding it with two fingers by the end of a strap. Then she pushed aside a bunch of the vines in one rough shove.
The vines wanted to crawl back in, pulling back around the body, pulling back around Abby, but she grabbed what she was looking for – the chain of the necklace around the corpse’s neck – and pulled hard.
The chain broken, she flew backwards, and the vines ripped off of her arms. “Now we can run!”
They ran, moving back towards the fountain in the center of the mall. The vines seemed to have gotten their scent and followed them, growing faster than even kudzu ought to.
Abby grabbed the bag from Liv, threw it over her shoulder, and hauled both Livs towards the first access door she could find. “Grab my shoulders,” she shouted, and for once, they both did what she said without argument.
They went tumbling through the door, slamming it shut on a vine nearly as thick around as Abby’s thigh, and kept running until they were sure nothing was following them.
When they came to a halt, Abby looked around the dim space through spots in her vision. “not enough running lately,” she panted. “Wait…”
The store in front of them was closed, and from the looks of things, it had been closed for a very long time. But the sign was still legible:
The Tome Home
“Well…” Abby rubbed her finger over the necklace she’d taken off of her own corpse. The necklace that was just like the one she’d gotten in this mall. “I don’t know if this is a good sign or a bad sign, Liv! LIV!” She grabbed for her friend but Liv was already darting off.
She ran after her, only to have Liv slow down almost immediately – at the herbs-and-spices store, which was boarded up. “He promised me beavers,” she sulked. “I thought maybe we could go through again and find the other door, and then, I don’t know, go another way.”
“It’s really not a bad idea,” Liv-2 agreed slowly. “I mean, if nothing else, we know not to do the book or anything like that. Maybe we can find some other way out of here first, though?”
“Back the way we came?” Abby looked around. “This has to be, I don’t know, a copy, doesn’t it? We haven’t been gone that long.. have we?”
“After a while,” Liv-2 answered slowly, “You start to lose track of time.”
“But we only slept once. I mean, unless…” She shook her head. “No. We didn’t sleep all that long. Okay, how do we get into here?”
“Are you sure this isn’t going to be like the last book of Narnia?” Liv-2 looked both interested and worried. “I mean, what if we go in and we’re another layer deeper into the awful malls?”
Abby looked between the two Livs. “Okay. First thing we do is we go back out the way we came in here, okay? If that doesn’t work, then we come back here and we try for the back door to the spice store. I know you want beavers, Liv, but I really want to go home, before-.”
She trailed off Both Livs looked at her like they knew what she was about to say. Before I end up another dead Abby.
“All right.” Liv’s voice was small. “We can look for the real mall first.”
- Landing Page: The Hidden Mall
- The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
- The Hidden Mall Part II
- The Hidden mall Part III
- The Hidden Mall Part IV
- The Hidden Mall Part V
- The Hidden Mall Part VI
- The Hidden Mall Part VII
- The Hidden Mall part VIII
- The Hidden Mall part IX
- The Hidden Mall part X: Plastic Bullies
- The Hidden Mall Part XI: The Narnia Thing
- The Hidden Mall Thirteen: Deep Water
- The Hidden Mall Part XII: Rescue
- The Hidden Mall Fourteen: Books and Bad Decisions
- The Hidden Mall: Blood, Thicker Than
- The Hidden Mall: Into the Woods
- The Hidden Mall: Cozy and Clean?
- The Hidden Mall: Liv, Liv, Liv
- The Hidden Mall: 🔥 Where There’s Smoke…
- The Hidden Mall: 👭 Pairings
- The Hidden Mall: Moving On
- The Hidden Mall: Ropes 🌱 Vines
- The Hidden Mall: Normal ⛲
- The Hidden Mall: Circles 🔘
- The Hidden Mall: Back the Way They Came ↩️
- The Hidden Mall ⏳ Rip Van Winkle
- The Hidden Mall: Reunions
- The Hidden Mall 28: Clean✨
- The Hidden Mall 29: Say What?💬
- The Hidden Mall: Aberrant! 🤖
- The Hidden Mall 31: Stay Alive 🏹
- The Hidden Mall 32: Advice 📝
- The Hidden Mall 33: Copies 👭👭👭
- The Hidden Mall 34: Ordinaire 😐
- Hidden Mall 35: Miss Piggy
- The Hidden Mall 36: Further up and further in
- The Hidden Mall 37: By a Thread
- Hidden Mall Thirty-Eight: Open Air ☁️
- The Hidden Mall 39: Don’t Look Down 👇
- The Hidden Mall 40: Bad Ideas 💡
- Hidden Mall 41: Big Ideas 💨
- Hidden Mall 42: Rescued
- The Hidden Mall 43 – Vic(tim)
- Hidden Mall 44: Story